Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Shaffer pleads not guilty; trial to begin next week - 3 April 2007
This is a recap of a story we broke a while earlier.
A former university employee who also served as a Redmen for Christ minister has pleaded not guilty to charges that he tried to solicit sex from a minor.
The next phase of Charles Shaffer’s trial will begin about April 9 in Federal court, where either jury selection will begin or lawyers will ask for a continuance. Public defender William P. Earley represents Shaffer.
Shaffer was arrested in February, exactly one month after police say he began an online conversation with what he believed was a 13-year-old girl, an FBI affidavit states. The Walters (Okla.) Police Department coordinated with members of Perverted-Justice.com in an Internet sting that began in December.
According to the affidavit, a member of Perverted Justice had portrayed a 13-year-old girl and was in contact with an individual with the screen name “c_meandu,” who said he was a state employee and worked in the field of communications. Shaffer is on administrative leave from the university, and was network manager with the university technical services network.
Shaffer is charged with using the Internet in attempting to persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity. If convicted, he could face 5-30 years in prison.
Shaffer resigned Feb. 6 from his part-time post as a campus minister and head of Redmen for Christ, which is overseen by the South College Church of Christ.